Luis Miguel Cruz, 28, the suspect arrested for the alleged hit and run that claimed the life of three pedestrians is now facing three counts of murder, according to court documents.
According to case information on the Stanislaus County Superior Court website, Cruz was arraigned in court on Wednesday on three counts of murder, on top of the three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony hit and run resulting in permanent injury or death.
Cruz pleaded not guilty to all counts on Wednesday.
At the time of his arrest, the Turlock Police Department reported that he would only be booked on felony hit and run, felony driving under the influence of alcohol, and the three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, much to the dismay of many TurlockCityNews.com readers.
Cruz, the driver of the BMW, was arrested on Monday after being initially released. The passenger of the vehicle is not expected to face any charges, according to the Turlock Police Department.
According to court documents, Cruz has four previous convictions of driving without a license in the last decade.
The fatal collision claimed the life of three victims, including 4-year-old Brian Flores, his mother Julia Argandar-Cruz, 20, and his grandmother Maria Elena Flores-Corrales, 47, when Cruz allegedly sped through a small residential road and hit the three victims.
The two female victims were declared deceased at the scene, with Brian Flores later being declared deceased at an area hospital.
A 2-year-old daughter of Julia Argandar was walking with the victims, but was not hit or injured. She has been released to the custody of family members.
The BMW 3 Series allegedly driven by Cruz then slammed into a residence, but no one was home at the time. Cruz and his passenger then fled the scene, but Cruz was apprehended by a group of citizens who witnessed the incident.
The passenger was followed to a residence on the 400 block of Linwood Avenue, where he was ultimately detained after authorities served a search warrant to the residence.
Both suspects were initially released while authorities investigated the incident to determine who had been driving the vehicle.
Cruz was then arrested and was being held $100,000 bail before that was increased to $4.5 million in court on Wednesday.
A visitation will be held for the victims beginning at noon on Tuesday, followed by a rosary at 7 p.m. Both will be held at Allen Mortuary, located at 247 N. Broadway.
The bodies will be transported to Mexico for burial.
Memorial contributions can be made to Westside Ministries, 952 Columbia Ave., Turlock, CA, 95380.
Many people visiting a memorial of flowers, candles, and toys outside of the home where the three victims were hit have also left donations.